Superhero Book, The

Cultural Studies

The Superhero Book

  • Author/Editor: Gina Misiroglu with David A. Roach
  • Binding: Library binding
  • Trim Size: 7 1/4 x 9 1/4
  • Page Count: 670
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-7808-0772-3
  • List Price: $63.00
  • Sample Pages
  • Printable Information Sheet

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Superhuman strength. Virtual invulnerability. Motivated to defend the world from evildoers. A secret identity. And a penchant for looking good in long underwear. These are the traits that define the quintessential superhero.

But who are these mask-wearing, cape-donning men and women? What are their strengths and weaknesses, their secret identities? Where and when did these characters first appear, and how have they changed since then? The Superhero Book provides an encyclopedic reference to the most significant characters in the superhero genre, from “Action Girl” to “X-Men.” Alphabetically arranged entries describe superheroes from the Golden Age of comics in the late 1930s to the film icons and computer game characters of the new millennium.

The Superhero Book is the ultimate A-Z compendium of everyone’s favorite superheroes. The nearly 300 entries explore their unique superhuman capabilities as well as their very human liabilities and limitations. Also described are the superheroes’ mythology, sidekicks, villains, love interests, superpowers, and modus operandi. The work includes the mainstream and counterculture, the famous and forgotten, and the best and worst of the superheroes—along with150 full-color illustrations, including many classic comic book covers. A Resources section and Index are also included. For a more complete understanding of the coverage offered in The Superhero Book, please see the Sample Pages.

As much a reference on modern mythology as a chronicle of the superhero genre in America, this encyclopedia discusses the cultural phenomenon of each character and its various incarnations in popular culture. The Superhero Book is the definitive work on the modern mythology of the superhero.

Reviews

"The Superhero Book stands out for its fullness with about 300 entries, all rather substantial; its engaging writing style, mixing historical, biographies, and anecdotal information; and its attractive design/layout, with its use of about 150 color illustrations on high-quality paper. ... This is a handy reference book and is highly recommended for libraries and other research collections."

—American Reference Books Annual, 2005

"Excellent compendium of comic book superheroes. ... Recommended. All libraries."

—Choice, Apr '05

"Recommended picks for any library strong in cartoons and graphic novels. ... Together [The Superhero Book and The Supervillain Book] are key references for any comprehensive cartoon or comic library holding."

—California Bookwatch, Oct '06

"This colossal encyclopedia of all things superhero could not have come at a better time. ... It is a must-buy for comic readers interested in knowing the early roots and conceptions of comic-book heroes."

—School Library Journal, Mar '05

"It serves as an excellent supplement for libraries with this collection focus."

—College & Research Libraries News, Feb '05

"Maybe this is just a guy thing, but this is one awesome book!"

—Reference & User Services Quarterly, Winter ’05

"This is a reference of super-heroic proportions that introduces the hundreds of comic-book heroes that have peopled the mythology of the twentieth century. An important addition to any library."

—Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit